Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cioppino -Bouillabaisse - Gumbo - Big Words - Ooh La L

Food is really pretty much the same all over the world.  Sure, different spices.  Perhaps olive oil in one area, butter in another.  But in the end, many of the dishes are the same, basically.  Except the names.

And the names are great.  I mean, who would not want to eat Cioppino?  Bouillabaisse? Gumbo? Sign me up.

How about Fish Stew. 

Doesn't really have that name, that certain j ne c'est quoi.

But in the end, they are all just fish stew, gussied up perhaps, made with crab one place, mussels the next.  This added, that.  Still all just fish stew.n

Of course here in Wisconsin, unless you are the fish slayer, fish comes frozen.  Not very exciting.  Probably why we are the capital of fish frys - beer batter coating, deep fried, big pile of french fries and coleslaw and some tangy tarter sauce on the side - you would never know it is frozen.  Especially after knocking back 3 or 4 brandy manhattans (sweet, of course).

Yet I like fish stew.  It is easy to make.  Fairly flexible.  Tastes great.  So, here goes.


4 potatoes, pealed and diced
1 bag frozen green beens
1 onion, diced fine
1 celery stalk, ditto
Got a green pepper?  Sure, dice that up also
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs Italian Seasoning (Penzeys)
1 cup dry red (or heck, why not, a dry white) wine
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups stock (vegie, chicken, seafod)
1 tbs fish sauce
red pepper flakes
Fish, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Scallops, whatever.  Say 1.5 lbs, thawed.  More if you have mussels or clams in the shell going in.  Generally not an oily fish (so no salmon, for example)


Cook potates, drain and rinse in cold water.  Cook till almost done.
Cook green beans (sure, nuke them)
Saute onion, celery, green pepper
After about 10 minutes, add garlic and italian seasoning
After 2 more minutes, tomato paste, cook till it starts to turn brown.  Don't forget to keep stirring
When the tomato paste turns brown, add wine
Cook wine down some - say 5 minutes
Add Stock.  Add fish sauce.  Add some red pepper flakes if you like a little heat
Cook for 30 minutes, medim low heat.  Don't skip this - it is what brings the flavor together
Turn heat to medium
Add green beans
in 2 minutes, add potatoes
in 2 more minutes, add fisheys
Cook no more than 5 minutes, serve.  Do not overcook the fish

This is a dish made for fresh, crusty, hot bread.  

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